JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Wolfson Children’s Hospital is addressing the growing mental health crises in kids by bringing the "On Our Sleeves" initiative to Northeast Florida and Southeast Georgia.
On Our Sleeves is a national movement for children’s mental health. It's based upon a simple concept: children don’t wear their thoughts on their sleeves.
The program provides free, easy-to-use educational tools and resources to help parents and caregivers start conversations, boost mental well-being and break stigmas associated with children’s mental health.
Each of the icons featured in On Our Sleeves’ materials represents a thought or feeling that can spark a conversation with a child.
“We have seen a significant increase in children admitted to Wolfson Children’s Hospital for mental health crises since the pandemic began, but unfortunately this problem existed long before COVID-19,” said clinical psychologist Terrie Andrews, Ph.D., administrator for Baptist and Wolfson Children’s Behavioral Health. “The key is to intervene before it becomes an emergency, but adults often don’t know how to check in on a child’s mental health. On Our Sleeves helps facilitate those vitally important conversations.”
Nationally, one in five children is living with a significant mental illness, and half of all lifetime mental health concerns start by age 14, according to Wolfson Children’s.
“This program has already had a tremendous impact throughout the country, and we are grateful to be able to provide these important materials to parents, educators, health care providers, and other concerned adults in Northeast Florida and Southeast Georgia,” said Michael D. Aubin, FACHE, president of Wolfson Children’s Hospital. “We hope our community members and local businesses join us in the movement, as it truly takes a village to ensure children have the chance to grow up to be healthy and productive adults.”
Below is a list of ways you can get involved with On Our Sleeves.
- Sign up for our monthly e-newsletter, featuring actionable, timely mental health information
- Download tips and tools to help facilitate conversations with kids and teens
- Learn how to recognize and respond to children in or at risk of crisis
- Access mental health support services provided by Wolfson Children’s Hospital
- Make a financial gift or raise funds to support the movement for children’s mental health
Click here for more information about this initiative.